The Right Impression

Swag, giveaways, handouts are just some of the names used to describe branded merchandise, all of which help to diminish the perception of our industry. This impression isn’t helped if we act merely as order takers, showing clients a glossy catalogue, letting them pick out something they like the look of that fits their

Now that it’s so easy to search online, produce a layout and order without getting any advice, it is vital that merchandise companies educate customers to value our profession and treat us in the same way they would an agency. We need to be tangible marketing experts, keep up to date with current trends, and have the knowledge of a wide range of products, branding methods and packaging.

This is not to say that there isn’t a place for trade catalogues, but they should be accompanied with guidance and advice, not just mailed out on their own without any thought and most likely filed in the bin or at best together with the stationery catalogues – which also now feature promotional products. Catalogues can be a good starting point, but they do not show how you can utilise the products creatively. We need to be proud of the industry we are in and truly believe that what we sell works, and that people really are influenced by receiving a memorable piece.

That means showing our clients examples of campaigns that have worked, and letting them in on the results and the cost per impression compared to that of other advertising methods. The dream position for us is for clients to include our solutions in their marketing mix on every occasion, even with digital campaigns where tangible products can be complementary to a campaign. With this in mind the BPMA has set up an end user group with greater end user engagement being its primary objective. A number of initiatives have been undertaken with the aim on moving our association and the industry to the next level. Talk to experts – you can’t Google what you don’t know.

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